Question Rose and Melancholy Rose Devourer - Chapter 11
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
Roselle returned to Seth, who was too astonished to even incline his head, after retrieving a comb, two types of glass bottles, and two bright red ribbons from his bag.
While Seth was frozen, unable to catch up with the conversation, Roselle placed two glass bottles, one blue and one green, with round pumps attached, on the table.
“Um… why… are you doing this?”
Seth finally spoke up after his hair was meticulously undone from around his neck and a comb was run through his white locks.
“I told you this is a thank you, right?” Roselle replied in a singing tone as he combed through his hair. “You don’t like having your hair braided?”
“I’ve never had my hair braided before, so… I don’t really know.”
“That’s an unexpected thing to hear.”
With a wry smile on his face, Roselle carefully brushed Seth’s bristly hair.
The attentive manner in which the tip of the comb did not strike the surface of the head was something Seth had become very familiar with, and the comfort of it made him feel no longer inclined to resist or to swear on purpose.
“May I use hairdressing oil or such?”
“Please go ahead and do as you please…”
Seth meekly reveled in the sensation of his hair being stroked by the comb.
Absently gazing at the dust twinkling in the brilliant colors of sunlight radiating in through the alba glass window, Seth found himself moving his back off the backrest and shifting his body position to make it easier for Roselle to comb his hair.
“You said it would be a hassle but isn’t dealing with long hair much more difficult?” You never considered cutting it?”
“I did try to cut it. But… every time I tried to cut it, my master almost severed my whole ear… so I gave up.”
“Your master, that is?”
“Boojum, the 《Rose Blooming Witch》.”
“Boojum, the witch, she is the synonym for the grand witch, right?”
“Apparently. But… it’s probably not the same as the history that remains on the human side.”
“Isn’t Boojum, the 《Rose Blooming Witch》also referred to as the 《Blood Witch》?”
“That is what some people would call her…”
Seth suppressed a sigh that threatened to escape in the middle of his statement.
“Each witch varies… so they often get mixed up by the humans. How that happens is truly a… mystery.”
At Seth’s complaint, Roselle’s hand, which had been working on undoing his long hair from around his neck, paused momentarily.
“The way you put it… the 《Blood Witch》 from the fairy tale is not Boojum too?”
“No, she is not.”
Seth responded right away.
The 《Blood Witch》 is a well-known fairy tale based on an actual event that took place during the era when witch hunts were prevalent.
Depending on the witch, each one possesses different powers.
The 《Blood Witch》 is a witch whose blood turns into red roses, and her name is inscribed not only in picture books but also in historical facts.
Although the 《Blood Witch》, whose blood transforms into red roses, and the 《Rose Blooming Witch》, whose body blooms roses, are often considered identical in human literature and research, Seth, a disciple of Boojum, and he himself is a rose-related witch, found this to be a laughable story.
“Boojum is only a witch who only makes roses… blue roses bloom from her body.”
Seth says, emphasizing on blue roses.
“My master never bleeds. There is no blood, or what you might call bodily fluids, in Master.”
“A witch and a human are not alike. According to my master… witches were originally incorporeal beings.”
The hair that had been curled was completely detached from his neck.
“My master said that the witches changed after Walpurgisnacht, the grand calamity ― that punctured the world, reduced the size of the sun, split the moon in two, and shattered the huge continent into thirteen pieces.”
While feeling the coolness around his neck, Seth continued to vocalize.
“Before Walpurgisnacht, most witches lacked substance… and at that time, they were called neighbors, not witches, and their appearance was almost unrecognizable to humans. Only a handful of people could really see the neighbors…”
“It kind of… sounds like a ghost.”
Roselle reached for the blue glass bottle. Apparently, that was a hairdressing product. He pressed the pear-shaped pump to gently dampen the bristles. But from the way he grunted, things didn’t appear to be going his way.
“If I had to use a simple metaphor, I would say… Yes, that’s right. You can think of a witch as a ghost that arises from a natural substance. It was only after Walpurgisnacht that these ghostly neighbors took on substance and began to be called witches. So, I am a witch of the third generation after Walpurgisnacht, but my master… was a monst ― no, a witch of the first generation, from the time when they were called neighbors before Walpurgisnacht.”
Roselle, who was handling the hairdressing, gulped.
Sensing that he was in a whirlpool of astonishment and doubt, Seth let out a hefty sigh.
“The witches before Walpurgisnacht ― neighbors were insubstantial, but they were rare. Neighbors who do have substance, no, neighbors who can materialize are…”
“That’s the witch Boojum?”
“…Yeah, but that’s why my master was! She was a witch whose senses are out of whack…!”
Seth spat out emphatically.
“The fact that she has substance means that if she gets hurt, she will feel pain, and if she gets injured, the contents of her body will spill out. And yet, and yet! The substance of my master, a neighbor, is very different from that of a witch!”
Seth involuntarily covered his face with his hands and turned over deeply.
The hair in the knot moved with his movement, and Seth was a little taken back, but he didn’t care, lamenting.
“There is no substance in my master’s body. It’s completely vacant. It’s a blank box! Perhaps this is why Master has no concept of suffering… Even so, it’s not fair for her to try to sever her disciple’s ears with his hair just because she lacks a sense of pain!?”
Seth locked his gaze on Roselle. “I can understand your sentiments,” Roselle lifted the edges of his mouth while handling Seth’s overly long hair. As Roselle hooked it over his shoulders and leveraged both arms, Seth lowered his brows with bitterness.
“My master, who is a neighbor who seems to have no substance… is by far the most unusual of the witches born with substance! How many times did she think have I nearly died… from experiencing a varying degree of sensation each time…”
The high laughter of the blue rose reverberated in Seth’s mind.
Seth shuddered at the memories that welled up and held himself tightly with his own two hands.
“I’m really… glad I have the regenerative constitution of a witch…”
Seth was truly grateful for the special powers he possessed. The specialized physical abilities and high regenerative powers were part of Seth’s characteristics as a witch and were his lifeline in his days living with Boojum.
“…Anyway, that’s why there is no blood in my master who can make blue roses bloom… First of all, I can’t imagine my master getting hurt… and I don’t remember witnessing it even until the end of her life…”
A dry laugh slipped from Seth’s throat. In the supposedly warm cabin, Seth couldn’t stop the chills. While holding himself, he rubbed the area around his arms.
“Besides, 《Blood Witch》is…”
Seth’s eyes were downcast.
“They don’t exist. They aren’t anywhere…”
The black hair swayed in the depths of his memory.
“That was a fictitious witch created by humans on their own.”
Seth tightened his grip on the black cloak his master had given him.
“I’ve never even heard of the 《Blood Witch》 among the… witches.”
Seth was telling the truth.
In the days of the witch hunts, humans conjured up numerous fictitious witches. This led to an increase in false witches and false accusations.
Ironically, the 《Blood Witch》 in the famous fairy tale passed down to the human side was one of these fictional witches.
Seth noticed that Roselle’s hands were still in the middle of braiding his white hair.
“What is it?”
When Seth lifted his gray eyes, Roselle’s point of view, which had been looking nowhere, settled on him as if he were regaining his attention.
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